The Auto friend! is a unique story want to share with you dear readers today. As I glanced at my beautiful Tissot, I decided it was time for me to book my Uber. I quickly launched the app and waited for the slow internet to enable the system to show me my current location.
After several seconds of waiting, the app finally allowed me to caress it into getting me a nearby cab. The app suggested to me that Nagaraju was on his way to pick me up. For some strange reason, I felt an impulse to call him. I picked up the phone and touched it appropriately in order to connect.
Three rings later, a coarse voice sounded a ‘hello’ in the regional accent. Confidently and in my broken Kannada, I commanded him to come down quickly so we could leave. He patiently inquired about my location and after three expensive minutes of explanation, he coolly denied asking me to cancel the cab request. I tried reasoning with him that I would be late and whether I liked it or not, he was my savior for the day. He again coolly denied. I wanted to yell my lungs off at his behavior but then composed myself and disconnected the touch screen as hard as I could.
I looked back at my watch and for a second I imagined Tissot raising an eyebrow in ask of what was plan B.
Plan B? Heck an auto it had to be. Damn. I did not have the time to book another cab. I took one final look at the security settings of my lovely home and decided all was fine.
With three bags over my tired shoulders, I stumbled, hopped, skipped and ran toward the street. My security guard stood up as he caught my ‘girta padta’ figure appearing around the corner. For a second, he contemplated helping me but for some forsaken reason, he thought better of it and decided to play the part of the audience along with an old errant uncle at the apartment. I chose to ignore them for the love of my ego and continued stumbling errr… walking.
I reached the auto stand and walked up to a hungry group of auto drivers who welcomed me with a smile. One of the auto guys took personal interest in me and helped me with my bag but as soon as I told him I wanted to go to Majestic, he turned cold and shoved my bag back into my hand. For a second I felt hurt.
After another three expensive minutes of bargaining, I decided to succumb. I quickly sat in and we started the journey. I looked around the interiors of the auto and it seemed like the driver was a very colorful person. I need not say more. I kept nudging the guy to go faster as I was taking the ksrtc bus for the first time and I did not know the bus station that well.
After constant nudging, I think I finally managed to drive the driver nuts because he showed me what it was like to sit in a Formula 1. He raced past several bikes, SUVs and vehicles that I never knew an auto could race with. For a few moments, I thought I also saw Yama (the God of death) travelling alongside. But it turned out to be just a fat guy. I decided to shut my mouth for the rest of the race and just keep to myself.
We reached our destination well ahead of time as you can expect. I looked through my wallet and handed over a five hundred note. The driver turned around and coolly said that he did not have change. Something inside me told me that he was not done taking revenge on my constant nudging. He suggested that I cross the busy road and get some change from the shops. I looked at my bags. The guy looked at me and suggested that I leave it there.
I reluctantly got out of the auto and walked slowly toward the railing keeping half an eye on my momentous suspect. As there was no gap in the median I was forced to climb over it. As I did, I lost my balance and stumbled over the railing. I quickly composed myself and ran across the road. After ten shops and a dozen cold stares as if I had asked them for their kidneys, I got my change.
As I rushed back with all weird thoughts in my mind, I stopped in absolute horror confirming all my fears.
The auto was not there. I froze.
I cursed myself for not carrying change. This guy had just taken revenge. He probably would just take out some of my expensive stuff and throw the rest of it into some dump. I gathered myself. This had to be taken up. Action was needed. I saw my Tissot nearing the departure time but what could I do? All my bags were gone with the auto. How could someone do this?
A hand on my shoulder broke through all my thoughts. I turned around and saw the expressionless face of the auto guy stare back wondering what I was doing standing there motionless. A cop had pushed him to the side of the road and he was watching me all this while trying to wave out and grab my attention.
I felt so guilty for letting my thoughts go wild. Good people still exist. He had patiently waited whilst I fell to the road and through the ten shops and the cold stares.
I quickly paid him his money and collected my bags. As we were about to leave and the auto guy had turned his back to me, in a split second, I took out a Dairy Milk Silk and thrust it into his dashboard.
Before he could say anything, I walked out of the scene and through the side mirror of a cab standing next to me, I saw him come out and smile. I continued stumbling toward the bus station.
– Loyson Paes